Using crutches?

I'm scheduled to have a PM put in next week, in the midst of having a knee injury and being on crutches.  It is occurring to me that I may not be able to use crutches for some time after the implant.  

I didn't think to ask the EP about this.  Does anyone know?  

And when he said, "You shouldn't move your arm forward or backwards or reach up, and no pulling or tugging," (I think for 4 weeks) does that mean things like playing the piano, doing dishes, etc.?  



Crutches probably are a bad idea

by Protimenow - 2020-07-07 03:47:00

I don't think crutches would be a very good idea if you're getting a pacemaker. After I had mine, I had bruising that went down the left side of my upper torso. I doubt that I would have been able to use a crutch on the left side at all. The strain, and pulling on the PM would possibly pull the leads out of your heart.

Unless your situation is one where you can't safely wait to get the PM, I'd wait until you're able to walk without crutches. 

As far as other activities - I was doing dishes a day or two after my surgery. It didn't really involve lifting my arms or putting too much strain on my chest. I suspect that playing piano would probably be okay  - but it does mean a slight lifting of your arms to play the keys - but there may be another problem - according to something that I read, repetitive motions (like, maybe, playing a lot of piano keys, and moving your arms across the keyboard) may make it harder for the leads to grow into the heart. So - on second thought, maybe piano is probably a no-go for a while. 

I suggest that, if you haven't already, remind your doctor that you'll have to be on crutches for a while, and ask if your PM surgery should (can?) be postponed while you're using crutches.

postpone implant ?

by Gemita - 2020-07-07 05:41:11

Hello Twodrifters,

Yes what bad timing but I agree postponing might be best unless you need emergency pacemaker implant ?  I am also certain that any sensible doctor would suggest this in any event to allow you to fully recover from one problem before tackling another.

I would speak to your doctors.  I am sure they would understand and give you another date when you feel able to proceed more comfortably.


by AgentX86 - 2020-07-07 07:47:22

The motion won't be any problem. However,  you're not going to want to put your untire weight on that shoulder (and that's infinitely understated). It may be a few months until you want to go there.


by Tracey_E - 2020-07-07 09:48:30

I've been on crutches a few times since having the pacer. It's fine once healed, but the first couple of months it would not feel good. I don't think it'll damage anything, but discuss with your doctor to be sure. It's just going to hurt. 


Put it somewhere else

by Protimenow - 2020-07-07 16:50:41

If you absolutely MUST have a PM right away, consider having the doctor locate it where it isn't going to interfere with the crutches. I've read on this site about a person or two having it implanted in the abdomen. 

Possibly putting it somewhere else (or putting it off until you're off crutches) may be the best way to handle this.

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A pacemaker completely solved my problem. In fact, it was implanted just 7 weeks ago and I ran a race today, placed first in my age group.